The ability to understand the meaning of text being read and integrating it with pre-existing knowledge is referred to as reading comprehension. Comprehension skills depend on an individual’s cognitive development and ability to recognize words swiftly.
Reading comprehension has two levels: shallow level and deep level. Structural & phonemic recognition, processing word structure and sentences are part of the shallow level. The deep level consists of semantic processing i.e. deciphering the meaning of a word and comparing it to similar words.
Reading comprehension can be improved by using strategies like reciprocal teaching, instructional conversations, text factors, non-verbal imagery, visualization, partner reading, multiple reading strategies, comprehension strategies, assessment and more.
To improve reading comprehension, following are some key skills that should be mastered:
- Decoding: It is a skill of sounding out words that have been heard but not written before. This skill is also known as phonological awareness as it helps kids to listen individual sounds of words (phonemes) to form a connection between the letters and their individual sounds. Some ways of improving decoding are exposure to books, rhymes, songs and offering lots of practice or specific instruction.
- Vocabulary: The best way of improving vocabulary in kids is to expose them to as many words as possible through conversations, reading books, telling jokes, playing word games and more. Encourage children to read alone, aloud and stop at new words to learn what they mean.
- Fluency: Fluency also improves reading comprehension as it helps a child to recognize words instantly. Recognizing whole words without sounding them out helps a child read and understand text faster. Fluency can be improved by making a child see the words as many times as possible till it becomes a sight word.
- Sentence Construction and Cohesion: The process of constructing a sentence and understanding it helps in building reading comprehension. It helps children derive the meaning of entire text or passage and eventually leads to cohesion i.e. the ability to merge ideas into sentences.
- Memory And Attention: Being attentive helps kids absorb information and memory helps them retain it. Working memory can be improved by playing games like concentration, card games like Go Fish and Uno, active reading, etc.
See-n-Read Reading Tools provide products that improve reading comprehension skills. The tools provide practical support to learners. For more information on reading comprehension, call at (630) 236 – 5592.